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Cold Therapy - Application

Protect
Protect

Protect injured tissue from undue stress to limit inflammation and promote healing.

Rest
Rest

Avoid activities that increase blood flow which may lead to increased swelling and pain.

Ice
Ice

Limit damage and reduce pain, swelling and inflammation by applying cold to bring out bruising.

Compression
Compress

Apply a firm bandage to limit swelling without restricting circulation or cause additional pain.

Elevation
Elevate

Elevation (above the heart is ideal) limits the swelling, reduces the pressure and helps limit the bleeding.

Refer
Refer

Refer to your health professional for further attention.

 

 

Heat and Cold are both helpful in healing but they help in very different ways. Cold stops the blood flow to the area temporarily so the swelling and pain can decrease. Heat increases blood flow to the area so healthy blood can get there sooner. The key is when to use either cold, heat, or both.

In the first 72 hours, avoid:

 

Heat
Heat

Applying heat increases blood flow and swelling.

Alcohol
Alcohol

Drinking alcohol increases blood flow and swelling, and may lead to injury aggravation.

Reinjury
Re-injury

Protect the joint to avoid re-injury until it has healed adequately.

Massage
Massage

Massaging promotes blood flow and further swelling. Massage can increase damage if begun too early.